WELSH PREMIER FOOTBALL

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FAW Councillors Phil Pritchard and Phil Jones were the proposer and seconder of a motion to increase the Welsh Premier League to 16 clubs, the County Times has revelealed.

And, despite the motion failing by 18 votes to 12, Cllr Pritchard plans to maintain his fight to increase the membership of the league.

"I placed a recommendation to the council that it should return to 16 clubs, something I fully believe in, and will be making a motion at the FAW Rules annual meeting in May in the hope that all divisions in the Welsh football pyramid will be run with a maximum of 16 clubs in the future," Pritchard told the County Times. "I believe it is something the supporters want and the format of the Welsh Premier should be something in which all clubs have a say, not just its current members."

The annual WPL chairmen's meeting, held in Newtown in November, ended with the majority of member clubs confirming their wish to continue with a maximum of 12 clubs, although no vote was taken on the promise of a review of the current format. However Pritchard insisted the clubs should not have the only say on the future direction of the Welsh Premier.

"This is a very important issue, one which every affiliated club should have the right to have their say."

"This is a very important issue," said Pritchard. "One which every affiliated club should have the right to have their say. Should the Welsh Premier expand to 16 clubs, as I am confident a majority of Welsh clubs would support, it would have a knock-on effect down the pyramid so it is only right every club has their say.

"This has become a major issue in Welsh football and several Welsh Premier clubs spoke in favour of expanding the league to a maximum of 16 clubs. It is up to the Welsh FA to ensure all clubs are heard, not just the existing Welsh Premier members who have been told such expansion would reduce their funding."

Cllr Jones endorsed his fellow life vice president's call for expansion: "Phil Pritchard put up a notice of motion, which I backed, recommending that the Welsh Premier should run with 16 clubs. The vote was not unanimous and is not in force for two years."

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30 March 2017

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